The Church and Abuse Victims

Power to Help

The church has more power to fight abuse than we might think. Christians can believe victims and help ensure their safety moving forward. What are some other ways to help? In this post created in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, biblical counselor Greg Wilson offers some practical ways Christians can encourage the abused and refer them to multiple sources for help.  

Greg Wilson holds Masters degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling and Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has completed additional graduate study at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  

Greg said not only is it important to believe someone if they tell you they’re abused, but it’s also important to validate that the abuse is not okay. Abuse is not what God designed for marriage or any other kind of relationship.  

What power do you imagine validation holds? Imagine offering it to someone who’s been suffering in silence for years. How do you think they'd respond?
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Another step to take is to tell the person they need to step out of the abuse, which is easier said than done. What challenges can you imagine when someone takes this step? Why is this step necessary, regardless?
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Greg said that getting more help is the final step. He named pastors and counselors in particular as good people to talk to. If you or someone you know is suffering abuse, name two people you can go to for help.
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Every situation and circumstance related to abuse is different, but protection and compassion are the most important things to keep in mind overall. You can offer these two things easily by believing the abused, validating the injustice of their situation, and seeking safety and guidance for them. As you seek help for yourself or someone you know, rest assured God cares about those who suffer and wants to use His church as a place for their rescue.    

 You can find more on abuse from Greg in the course How to Help the Abused

To find out more about the Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.